Report: More than a third of ‘catalog’ sales submitted online

The latest Catalog Industry Trend Report from database services provider Abacus confirms that it has become difficult—and perhaps even insignificant—to view Web sales as independent from catalog sales, because catalog mailings are a key driver of Internet transactions.

According to data compiled from the Abacus Alliance database of 1,800 marketers for the first two quarters of 2002, 39% of sales for catalog/Internet marketers that were placed in response to catalog campaigns were submitted online. For catalog/Internet marketers that have retail stores as well, 33% of sales driven by catalog mailings were placed online, 23% in the stores, and just 44% through call centers and the mail.

In addition, by analyzing data from 24 merchants using its ChannelView software tool, Abacus was able to determine that online sales grew from 18% of total catalog sales in the first quarter of 2001 to 29% in the first quarter of 2002. For the second quarter of 2002, online sales accounted for 26% of total catalog sales, up from 19% the previous second quarter.